As we march toward a “Terminator” world

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Have you seen the “Terminator” movie series? Sure you have.Image result for terminator chains

But if you are one of the few who hasn’t I’ll give you the briefest possible outline of the basic story:

The U.S. government, to defend against foreign enemies, develops a defense system (“Skynet”) that requires no human intervention. It’s all run by AI, Artificial Intelligence.

Unfortunately, “Skynet” becomes self-aware, and decides to eliminate the entire human race, because . . . well, why not?

The rest of the series features robots and people from the future and from the present, fighting.

That outline does not do justice to a pretty good series, which is based on several underlying premises, one of which is: When you give machines intelligence, you cannot predict what they will do with it.

And now, please read some excerpts from an article in the March 31, 2018 issue of NewScientist Magazine.

US wants first drones that can kill people truly independently 

The US Army wants to develop small drones to automatically spot, identify and target vehicles and people. It may allow faster responses to threats, but it could also be a step towards autonomous drones that attack targets without human oversight.

The project will use machine-learning algorithms, such as neural networks, to equip drones as small as consumer quadcopters with artificial intelligence.

At the moment, you can have dozens of people monitoring the video feed from military drones, who then decide what action to take, says Paul Scharre at the Center for a New American Security, a think tank in Washington DC.

The US Army already fields miniature drones that can highlight moving objects or pursue a target autonomously once the operator locks on to it with the camera. Several thousand have been used in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

But the new project goes much further. It will detect, recognise, classify, identify and target, which covers the entire process from finding a person to aiming weapons at them.

Welcome to Skynet.

In fairness to the machines (Can one be “fair” to machines?) even with current human-controlled systems, the instances of “friendly fire” are far too numerous to be overlooked.

So, will computer-controlled systems be more discriminating?

The Pentagon’s directives seem to commit it to ensuring human oversight of drones. But, at best, the drone shows a target to the human and the human says “yes” or “no”, which is known to be a problematic system design, because the human stops exercising judgment very quickly.

Many studies of safety systems, including one from the Technical University of Berlin in 2008, show that operators tend to gradually reduce the number of times they check a machine’s output and start to place more trust in the machine than in their own senses, a tendency known as automation bias.

And of course, it would be very easy to leave the human out.

Technologically, we still are a long way from Skynet — aren’t we? I mean, aren’t we?

But, automated weaponry does not encounter the massive safety considerations that, for instance, a self-driving car, needs to have. Weapon safety, especially in enemy territory, is not of prime importance.

From the military’s standpoint, civilians are expendable.

The problem with AI is that it’s brittle. It can go from super-smart to super-dumb in an instant, making mistakes that are jarringly stupid for a human. One famous example is a 3D printed plastic turtle that AI systems repeatedly identified as a gun, even though there is no resemblance in human eyes.

Even AI experts do not understand how computers “think.” The process is alien, far more alien than “how does your dog think?” or “what does your parakeet believe?”

When Google’s computer “AlphaGo” beat Go masters, it made several moves that had experts scratching their heads, wondering, “How did it get there?” The computer’s “thinking” process was obscure.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia has produced the SharkSpotter neural network that runs on a drone and can distinguish sharks from swimmers, surf boards and dolphins. Nabin Sharma of UTS says that SharkSpotter’s accuracy is about 90 per cent, compared with 30 per cent for humans analysing aerial imagery.

“The military is basically trying to import the technology from the commercial sector,” says Scharre. “The tech is out there, and it will be widely available whatever the US Army does.”

A US Army spokesperson would not comment on the project at this time.

It is clear that computers can be designed to outdo human brains at narrow tasks for which the rules are clear: Chess, Go, Jeopardy.

But, your human brain is designed to think broadly and inclusively about many, divergent things, including morality, while simultaneously directing your body, sensing your environment and writing a poem or two. That’s a lot.

It seems clear that machines, designed for the narrow task of killing people, will be superior at that task. No worries about collateral damage. For a killing machine, there is no such thing as collateral damage.

The problem might not even require the machines to achieve self- awareness.  Simply being programmed to kill people may be sufficient to bring us to another “Terminator.”

We are plowing ahead into dangerous waters, hoping that somehow, everything will be fine. But automated killing machines may be a leap too far.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-lesses.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.



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